'Spider-Man 2,' 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' to Open in China in May

The X-Men are coming to China.

An annual blackout period used by the Chinese government to boost local films in the world's second-biggest movie market will soon come to an end.

BEIJING – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set to open in China on May 4 as the first Hollywood film to end the current blackout period for imported films in Chinese cinemas, a strategy employed by government regulators to help boost local movies.

X-Men: Days of Future Past will follow on Chinese screens on May 23, around the same time as the Bryan Singer-directed movie opens globally. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing plays Blink in the movie.

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The opening date for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been pushed back to after the Mayday holiday, which means that because of public holidays here, Sunday is a working day and the schools are open.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will open for midnight screenings heading into May 4 to drum up excitement among audiences.

It will also show in 4DX theaters, a new phenomenon in China with around 10 theaters introducing the technology around the country.

The profile of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is high in China, after Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx and Emma Stone came to Beijing to promote it, in line with the recent, highly successful practice of Hollywood big names sweeping into the country to meet fans and local press.

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X-Men stars are also due to visit China to promote the film, while Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson were recently in town to promote Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

New releases of overseas movies have been halted in the run-up to the Mayday holiday, to give Chinese and Hong Kong movies, which are generally co-productions, a better chance of success.

The biggest box office success this week was local romantic comedy My Old Classmate, followed by Donnie Yen’s Ice Man 3D.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan